Religion & Education: Paradoxical Ideologies?  

Paradoxical Ideologies 2Versus  Paradoxical Ideologies 1

Can religion and education ever truly live symbiotically? I’m working again at a school with a strong Catholic Ethos and it also values knowledge and education. But, by definition, religion is built on ‘faith’ a concept whereby you unquestionably believe in what you are told. Whereas education is built on inquiring and probing the status quo in order to increase knowledge. Similarly, religion has tradition at its foundations while education is founded on innovation. Therefore, does it stand that both are fundamentally conflicting?

I embrace this school’s ethos with the same philosophy that I would any other religious institution. That is to say, I respectfully ignore it unless – or until – it impedes on the rights of others.

At which point I openly criticise it’s hypocrisy and rally against it. This school – to my knowledge – doesn’t really follow the Catholic ethos in practice. However, to qualify my opinion I must admit, I only work at the school’s summer program and not the school’s full, year-round program.

The way that I see it, a Catholic ethos (or any religions ethos) is one founded on promoting one religious sect over all others, and the removal of certain types of innovation, thought and knowledge that threaten or defy the religion’s dogmatic principles.

For instance, we went to the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which was condemned to the outskirts of London due to the plays being contrary to the religious ethos of the time. Moreover, we also visited the Tate Modern that is a beacon of modern thought and a religious zealot would deem much of the work immoral – or at least scandalous.

This school embraces venues such as these due to their educational merit. But, does that really make sense when the school claims to be Catholic?

Does it not stand to reason that if the school does follow a religious philosophy then can it ever really embrace the acquisition of free and open information?

And, therefore, surely any institution can merely pretend to be a centre for learning and embrace religion or equally embrace learning and have a superficial and contradictory sham religious underpinning. Have I stumbled upon something here or am I being rather military atheist?

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